After the launch of Chandrayaan 2, India’s most awaited lunar mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has now set its sight on the sun with its solar mission, Aditya-L1. It will be the first Indian mission to study the sun. The whole idea behind this mission was to construct a 400kg class satellite to carry a total of seven payloads, out of which the main payload is the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), which was planned to be launched to an 800km low-earth orbit.
The Lagrangian Point 1 (L1) of the sun–earth system offers the major advantage of the continuous viewing of the Sun without any eclipses/occultation; that is why, the satellite is planned to be placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point, which is 1.5 million km from the earth.
The project already has all the necessary approvals and is slated for a 2019–2020 launch via PSLV-XL from Sriharikota.
Originally, Aditya-L1 was devised with the aim to observe only the solar corona. But now, it can provide observations of the sun’s photosphere (soft and hard X-ray), corona (visible and NIR), and chromosphere (UV) as well.
Other payloads are the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), Magnetometer, Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX), High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS), Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA), and Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS). The improved and extended Aditya-L1 project will help in a detailed understanding of the dynamic processes of the sun and finding solutions to some major problems in solar physics.